IVR therapy is a form of therapy for kids, teens and adults. IVR therapy can help us better mental illness, family dynamics, relationship issues and issues at the workplace.
IVR therapy is a self-help therapeutic model. This website contains a host of free online tools for individuals, couples, and families. People are complex. Here we will explore that complexity. We will learn to understand our feelings and their purpose.
IVR is a framework for social problem-solving. IVR provides us with tools to diagnose and treat these problems. But human problems are complex, and often the solutions can be quite complex. The IVR framework can also help people seek appropriate treatment from other outside sources. Using IVR, people can identify which types of resources are likely to help. IVR can also help people weed out solutions that are unlikely to help.
Much of the principles and core beliefs in IVR will seem like common sense. That is purposeful. Our goal here is to not overcomplicate things. Everything should seem intuitive. We are trying to unlock the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
There are deeper layers of IVR that can start to become very complex. These deeper layers will start to incorporate other disciplines into healing, including: moral psychology, physics, mathematics, spirituality, poetry, and medicine. For individuals looking to heal common problems, it may not be necessary to dive into these deeper layers. However, at these deeper levels, we can begin to see elegant and imaginative solutions to some of society’s most thorny issues like systemic racism, abortion, political polarization, etc.
Who can benefit from IVR?
IVR can be used for any type of social problem-solving. We will focus on specific types of problems here in this website including parenting, relationships, mental illness, workplace issues and burnout, recovering from illness and trauma. However, principles learned here can also be applied to other social issues including politics, racial justice, moral injury, etc.
What are the core beliefs of people utilizing IVR?
- Feelings have purpose. As such, mental illness is not actually a disease. These patterns of feeling ill (anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc.) represent the body’s attempt to heal itself. With proper listening and application of IVR principles, a person can break free of their conflict. That does not mean there is no role for modern medicine in treating overwhelming emotions. Instead, the role of medical treatments needs to be re-understood not as a cure but rather as tool for healing, much like an ankle brace would be used to help someone after a sprain.
- All relationships form a circular pattern. A relationship can be stagnant–that is to say it can be stuck in co-dependency. Or it can cycle in one of two directions: towards increasing (positive cycling) understanding or decreased (negative cycling) understanding.
- Towards increasing understanding (positive cycling)
- Towards decreasing understanding (negative cycling) – yes, it is possible to unlearn important things over time if you are consistently following the same bad habits.
- We all contribute to the circular pattern of social interaction. This means that rather than blame others when things go wrong, we must look to our own individual contributions. Contribution, rather than blame, should be our primary focus.
- Our own behavior has a dramatic influence on the behavior of others. Rather than point to what someone else is doing wrong, we seek to understand how we are influencing them to make the decisions they are making.
- Healing requires that we work towards understanding.
- With understanding also comes other aspects of healing: forgiveness, acceptance, love, connection, trust, generosity, imagination, curiosity, tolerance, and happiness.
- We do not choose or control our feelings. We can use them, like energy, to drive towards our purpose.
- We choose and control our values. We use moral values to channel our feelings towards our purpose. We should avoid getting stuck in using the same value over-and-over again. Instead, we must be flexible and learn to use a spectrum of values.
- Learning which value to use when is an important part of living. This is a trial-and-error process. This trial-and-error process constitutes a rhythm of healing. We must, at times, move backward, so that we can later move forward again. Setbacks and mistakes are inevitable.
- Because mistakes are a necessary part of learning, forgiveness and grace are key parts of IVR. We must allow mistakes in ourselves and others. We should expect everyone involved to learn from their mistakes over time. This is accountability.
- Time is a critical ingredient to healing. Change doesn’t come instantly. Feelings change slowly over time.
- We use active listening as a key piece of reflection. We must understand the impact of our actions so that we can learn from them over time. This allows us to proceed with positive cycling and gain in mutual understanding over time.
- The IVR cycle is self-correcting. For a conflict to persist, there must be problems in all three domains of IVR. We must have issues in identity/purpose, values, and reflection/communication. Therefore, improving any of the three domains of IVR will help us heal in all three.
What are the three domains of IVR?
IVR breaks down relationship issues into one of three domains:
- Problems of identity and purpose
- Problems of values (not channeling feelings effectively)
- Problems of communication (not listening)
How does IVR help?
Healing from difficult injuries takes time and often involves many setbacks. So how do we know if we’re on the right track?
If we’re headed in the wrong direction or stagnating, IVR can help us understand why. Through that understanding, we can seek out effective change.
What other types of therapy does IVR draw from?
IVR draws its inspiration from many wells. It also, at times, will seem similar to many other types of effective treatments. Here is a list of some of those resources. See my bookshelf for a growing list.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Integrative and Complementary Medicine
- Whole Health Model (VA)
- Internal Family Systems model
- Harvard Negotiation Project
- Moral psychology (Jonathan Haidt)
- Start With Why (Simon Sinek)